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Fidelity Bank Gains Global Recognition with Remarkable H1’23 Performance

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Fidelity Bank MD - Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

Fidelity Bank is poised to ascend to the ranks of top global banks, bolstered by unwavering investor confidence and resounding approval for its capital-raising initiative.

This strategic move aims to sustain the bank’s exceptional growth as evidenced by its record-breaking performance in the first half of 2023 (H1’23).

In a financial report published on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), Fidelity Bank displayed its broad-based growth with Profit Before Tax (PBT) expanding by 204.4 percent to N76.3 billion in H1’23 while Gross earnings for the period grew by 59.6 percent to N247.1 billion compared to N154.8 billion in June 2022.

Profit After Tax (PAT) soared to N61.9 billion, representing an impressive 166 percent growth from the previous year. This translated to an Earnings per Share of 194 kobo.

Also, the bank’s Net Loans & Advances grew by 25.1 percent, reaching N2.6 trillion in June 2023, accompanied by a 23.2 percent increase in Customer Deposits, which surged to N3.2 trillion.

Fidelity Bank’s robust balance sheet remained a pillar of strength, with Total Assets growing by 27.4 percent to N5.1 trillion.

The bank’s non-performing loans remained well within regulatory thresholds at 3.24 percent, backed by a solid coverage ratio of 111 percent. The bank also achieved an impressive Return on Equity (ROE) of 34.9 percent and a Return on Assets (ROA) of 2.8 percent.

Building upon this exceptional H1’23 performance, the bank’s board approved an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share, marking the second consecutive year of interim dividend payments—a testament to its commitment to providing sustainable value to shareholders.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Office, Fidelity Bank Plc noted, “We are pleased to report on another period of quality growth across all financial and non-financial indices. Our performance during the first half of the year reflects the resilience of our bank and the fundamental strength of our business to deliver long-term sustainable value at a time that has been characterized by global economic headwinds. As a bank, we remain committed to our goal of helping individuals to grow, inspiring businesses to thrive and empowering economies to prosper.

“We will continue to monitor and proactively manage the evolving risks in the economy while ensuring our commitments to our customers and shareholders are fulfilled. The interim dividend of 25 kobo per share, a 150 per cent increase compared to the 10 kobo interim dividend in 2022FY, attests to the value we place on the unwavering support from our shareholders,” stated Onyeali-Ikpe.

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Banking Sector

Jaiz Bank Boosts Chairman’s Income to N24m Amidst Strategic Expansion

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Jaiz Bank

Jaiz Bank has announced a 20% increase in its chairman’s annual income to N24 million.

This decision was unveiled in a recent statement filed with the Nigeria Exchange Limited, highlighting the bank’s commitment to rewarding leadership amidst its expansion plans.

The bank, renowned for its pioneering role in non-interest banking in Nigeria since 2012, also approved a remuneration package of N20 million for each non-executive director.

The announcement was made by the bank’s secretary, Mohammed Shehu, highlighting the importance of competitive compensation for board members who provide crucial oversight and strategic guidance.

Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) expressed confidence in the board’s leadership by approving the resolution on directors’ fees.

This move aligns with Jaiz Bank’s ongoing efforts to enhance its capital base to N70 billion by the end of 2024.

The bank also announced a dividend of 4 kobo per share, which will be distributed to shareholders on July 16, 2024.

This dividend declaration was welcomed as a testament to the bank’s operational success in a challenging economic climate.

Also, the AGM saw the re-election of Muhammadu Indimi and Muhammad Abdulmutallab as non-executive directors, reaffirming shareholder trust in their leadership capabilities.

Jaiz Bank’s financial performance has been impressive, with a 67% increase in profit before tax, reaching N11.1 billion in 2023.

Gross earnings also rose by 42% to N47.2 billion from the previous year, showcasing the bank’s successful growth strategy.

As Jaiz Bank continues to expand its services, the enhanced remuneration package signals a commitment to maintaining strong governance and leadership, paving the way for future achievements in ethical banking.

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Banking Sector

Nigeria Plans 50% Windfall Tax on Banks’ Currency Profits

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has announced a one-time 50% tax on windfall profits that banks reaped from currency gains following last year’s naira devaluation.

This decision was part of the government’s strategy to navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The naira, which has depreciated by about 70% against the dollar since foreign exchange rules were relaxed in June 2023, allowed banks holding dollar assets to significantly boost their income.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria had advised lenders to retain these profits as a buffer against potential future losses.

The proposed tax will apply to the 2023 financial year, with non-compliance resulting in hefty fines.

The move has already impacted the NGX Banking Index, which fell by 1.3% as of midday trading in Lagos. Notable declines were seen in FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, dropping 3.2% and 2.5% respectively.

This initiative mirrors similar actions in Europe, where countries like Italy and Hungary have imposed taxes on banks to address what they view as excessive profits during periods of high inflation and interest rates.

European banks have criticized these measures, warning of potential impacts on economic growth due to constrained lending capabilities.

President Tinubu’s administration believes this tax will help manage Nigeria’s fiscal challenges while addressing social needs.

Lawmakers are expected to support the measure, alongside a proposal to increase government spending by 6.2 trillion naira ($3.8 billion).

While banks have benefited from currency revaluations, many customers, particularly manufacturers with dollar-denominated loans, faced significant losses as they struggled with the weaker naira.

The new tax policy highlights the government’s broader efforts to stabilize the economy and attract foreign investment, aiming to ensure a more equitable distribution of financial gains.

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Banking Sector

Unity Bank Customers Win Over N4 Million in Cashtoken Rewards Promo

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Unity Bank customers have claimed over N4 million in cash rewards in its ongoing loyalty programme recently rolled out with Cashtoken, a Cash Reward-as-a-Service company.

The winners included no fewer than 40 customers who adopted and transacted on the Bank’s digital banking platforms, including the UniFi mobile banking application, the *7799# USSD platform or activated their Unity Bank Verve Card to transact on e-payment terminals across Nigeria.

Beginning from onboarding in our customer lifecycle journey, the Unity Bank Cashtoken Partnership commenced as a loyalty and reward scheme to reinforce the benefits of e-banking platforms. To begin, Customer transactions earn cash tokens, which are then redeemed to qualify for the monthly Cashtoken Rewards draw. Consequently, winners emerge from the draws to claim the cash prizes.

Recall that the retail lender announced the ongoing Cashtoken Rewards loyalty programme in December 2023 in partnership with Cashtoken Rewards Africa to empower customers and improve customer satisfaction. The partnership with Cashtoken Rewards also provided an opportunity for the Bank to migrate customers—old and new—to a platform that will continually create exciting rewards and appreciation for loyalty.

Eghomware Iyamu, Unity Bank’s Head of E-Business, commenting on the success of the Cashtoken Rewards loyalty program, stated: “We are excited to see our customers win over N4 million in cash rewards through our partnership with Cashtoken. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to recognizing and rewarding the loyalty of our customers”.

“By leveraging our digital banking platforms, including the Unifi mobile banking application and the *7799# USSD platform, we are not only enhancing customer experience but also providing life-changing opportunities. The Cashtoken Rewards program is a testament to our dedication to improving customer satisfaction and creating meaningful rewards along our customer lifecycle journey. We look forward to seeing more of our customers benefit from this exciting program as we continue to innovate and deliver exceptional value to them.”

Unity Bank has robust electronic banking products which include mobile and digital banking channels, including ATM, PoS, or any digital payment channels which support retail product transactions across the country. New-to-Bank customers are invited to open a Unity Bank account, onboard onto the digital platforms and begin transacting on the various platforms to earn cash token rewards and cash prizes while existing customers are encouraged to onboard and transact to win even more rewards and cash prizes.

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